The European Parliament today voted on legislative proposals on management of eel fisheries. Crucially, MEPs endorsed the call by Green draftsperson/rapporteur Isabella Lövin for the European Commission to come forward with a new EU regulation on the management of this endangered species. Commenting after the vote, Isabella Lövin stated:
"Eels are in a seriously precarious state across Europe and urgent action is needed to prevent a severe decline. The EP has today called for urgent EU regulatory action to address this, calling on the Commission to come forward with a new EU regulation to this end.
"The EU needs to adopt a new recovery plan to give eels a chance, closing loopholes in the current legislation which have led to the continued overfishing and trade with eels. In addition, there is also a need for a more sustainable approach to re-stocking, to avoid unintentional damage. The Commission needs to evaluate and report on the conditions in which restocking is likely to contribute to the recovery of the eel stock.
"The status of the European eel stock remains critical and with the European eel now a critically endangered species, urgent remedial action is needed. In the last three decades, the number of eels returning to their spawning grounds has dropped by over 95% in key European grounds. Scientific advice from International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) states that the stock is at a historic low and that there are no signs of recovery. ICES recommends that, for eel stocks to recover, fisheries and other human activities affecting the stock should be reduced to as close to zero as possible."